Goji berries are lovely red berries with excellent flavor and incredible health benefits. They are most commonly found on store shelves in their dried form. How to grow fresh berries by yourself?
Goji berries are the healthiest fruit in the world. Their small volume contains a veritable bomb of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Is it possible to grow this plant in our climate? How to get down to it and how to take care of cultivation? We suggest.
Characteristics of the plant
Goji berries are the fruit of the Chinese goji berry. This plant originates from Asia, however, nowadays it is cultivated almost all over the world. Goji bushes grow up to 1-3 meters high and are strongly branched. The overhanging stems are covered with sharp thorns. The leaves are stiff, narrow and long. Their vivid green color corresponds beautifully first to the purple flowers and then to the juicy red fruit. The Goji bush is not only a plant that produces excellent crops, but it is also an ornament of the garden or terrace.
Superfood straight from the garden
Goji fruits have a unique taste. They are similar to cranberries, but are more tart. The berries also have an aftertaste of tomato and herbs. Despite the wealth of vitamins and minerals, their consumption should not be exaggerated. Firstly, due to the high calorie content – 370 kcal per 100 grams. Secondly, it is very important to consume only ripe fruit. Unripe Goji berries are toxic.
Goji berries can be added to oatmeal, eaten raw, added to meat dishes or prepare a tea. It all depends on individual preferences. In home cultivation it is worth to pay attention to birds circling around the fruit. Goji berries are also a treat for them.
How to grow Goji berries
Goji bushes are not very demanding in cultivation. If you want to start your own adventure with goji berries, you can buy a seedling or grow the seeds yourself. This plant is quite resistant to various conditions. It tolerates frost, drought, heat, polluted air and even excessive humidity.
If you want to create the best conditions for growing Goji bushes, you should follow two tips:
- plant it on fertile and permeable soil,
- take care of a sunny position, if possible warm and sheltered from the wind.
Once a year – in spring – the bush should be pruned. Thanks to this the tree will grow nicely and will give more fruit. Avoid planting on clayey soil and in marshy areas. These conditions will not do it any good.
The perfect plant for the garden
The plant will also make a good hedge. It will start to flower in May-June and may continue to flower throughout the summer. The small, bell-shaped, five-petalled flowers are melliferous. So we provide food for bees and butterflies. The tree fruits with the end of summer, but you have to wait until October for the harvest. The appearance of the first harvest usually occurs 2-3 years after planting the bush.
Easy to grow bush
Goji bushes can be grown even by beginner gardeners. If you give the plant enough space, it can be successfully planted in patio pots. In the beginning it does not need any fertilizer. Use nutrients sparingly in later years. The only thing to remember is the spring pruning. Quite radical – by 1/3 of the shoot length.
Chinese thorn bushes are not susceptible to diseases and pest attacks. If something does appear, then most often the culprit is powdery mildew. It is a fungal disease, which manifests itself as a white-grey coating on the leaves, shoots and flowers of the plant. Immediately after noticing alarming symptoms it is worth to perform a spray (natural or chemical) and facilitate the drying of the plant. If it is a potted shrub, it’s worth moving it to a drier place, sheltered from the rain. Shrubs in the garden can be thinned a bit, so that they have access to air and light.
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